WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Federal judge strikes down state's same-sex marriage ban
MADISON - A federal judge has struck down parts of Wisconsin’s state ban on same-sex marriage.
In wake of Friday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, county officials say they’ve begun issuing licenses. However, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he will seek an emergency federal court order to stop the marriages. Wisconsin becomes the 27th state were same-sex couple can marry under law, or a judge has struck down laws to ban same-sex marriage.
Several state Democrats are calling yesterday’s ruling a victory. A U.S. District Judge rules the state’s law banning same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. Gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke at the state Democratic Party convention in Wisconsin Dells said the ruling is a victory for fairness and equality, while Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Madison) says it ends the poor treatment of same-sex couples. Key state Republicans, including Governor Scott Walker, have not issued a statement on the issue.
A Wisconsin billionaire has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a teen girl. 59-year-old Samuel Johnson III was convicted of fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct in a Racine courtroom yesterday. Prosecutors say Johnson’s charges were downgraded from a felony to misdemeanor when the family of the victim refused to cooperate.